365 Seconds – Content Planning for 2016


This post originally appeared here on Linkedin.

In 2015 I set myself the goal of recording one second of video each day. The idea behind this was to satisfy my creative curiosity and to provide a way to document what I knew was going to be an exceptionally busy year. Despite some issues with some of the images (the Hyperlapse app unfortunately doesn’t work 100% of the time in dull light) I think the final result has turned out really well.

This isn’t the first time I have set myself what can seem like a difficult new years resolution goal. In 2012 I challenged myself many more goals with a central one being to take a photo every day. What I learned then and expanded on in 2015 was that with some simple planning and being prepared to be reactive when called upon this can be achieved and produce strong results.

I have had a few people ask me about how they might go about such a project so here are some thought starters that I think work for a personal project like this and also when approaching a new year of work.

What moments do we know are coming? What opportunities will there be to create content? All through 2016 there will be events and calendar moments that we know about so planning what you want to create/record/do at that event now (even if top level) will be a huge benefit when the day arrives.

What tools do you need to be reactive in the moment? I ensured I always had my phone, the apps I needed on the main page and a battery pack with me so I could never miss an opportunity. Never under estimate how important it is to identify the tools you need and keeping them with you.

Content themes and structures, what is the central message you want to convey? For my 2015 project I had a very clear vision centred around the camera providing my point of view day to day with a forward moving/walking motion. This allowed me to not only capture moments in less exciting times but also surprise and delight my intended audience with more eye catching visuals. Giving structure to your intended project in this way will allow for more creative freedom and also helps prevent “writers block” from creeping in.

What does your content publishing structure look like? Which channels will you be using and how can they be used best? For this project I knew my primary channels would be my blog, Vimeo and Instagram which were then supported by Facebook and Twitter. My plan was always to provide regular monthly updates with 15 second Instagram video updates that fell in between these to provide more irregular timing to keep the project front of mind. Keeping some form of structure is important in educating your audience when to expect certain pieces of content. But also providing that which is less expected helps to grab their attention as well. In my case long form content was given a regular cadence with short form falling at more sporadic moments.

If things aren’t working out are you prepared to move and change? Originally I was planing on using YouTube as my primary video platform but unfortunately some technical issues with encoding meant I had to switch early on to Vimeo. This highlights the importance of needing to react if something isn’t working and being prepared with a back up plan. I also ensured to listen to people’s comments to see if there was something they were losing interest in and had they done so I would have altered areas of my approach.

These key points that helped me approach #SamsProject2015 can be applied to a number of areas, not just content production. I hope that those who watch the video enjoy it and that my thoughts above provide some inspiration as we move into 2016.

Happy new year everyone!

P.s. if you wish to read more about my project follow this link.

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